Mother’s Day means an abundance of fresh cut flowers gracing homes everywhere. To extend the life of your flowers, and your gift, try these tried and tested methods for keeping your flowers fresher, longer.
HACK #1: Bleach and sugar. This two punch combo is the most popular advice for keeping flowers fresh. Just add 3 drops of bleach and 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1 quart of tepid water. The sugar’s carbohydrates feed the stems and the bleach keeps the water from getting cloudy and inhibits the growth of bacteria.
HACK #2: Trim the stems. This is the oldest trick in the book. Trim the end of each stem at a 45-degree angle and submerge immediately in water. Experts say that leaving the stems out of water for an extended period of time (after they’re cut) allows air pockets to form that can block the path of water. If you’re hardcore you can cut them underwater, but immediately after is good enough for us!
HACK #3: Soda Pop. Whether you call it “Soda” or “Pop”, put the stale Sprite in your fridge to good use. Bring the soda to room temperature and then pour about 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda into a vase full of cut flowers and room temperature water. The sugar in the soda will make the blossoms last longer. If you have a colored vase, you can easily replace the clear soda with colored soda. They all work the same!
HACK #4: Vinegar and sugar. Did you know vinegar has anti-bacterial properties? Just mix 2 tablespoons apple cider (or white) vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding the flowers. Portion it per quart of warm water. The sugar feeds the plants, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.
HACK #5: Copper pennies. Find a penny, pick it up, and all day you’ll have…fresh flowers! Just drop 1 copper penny and a cube of sugar into your vase water. The copper in pennies is said to act like an acidifier, which prevents the growth of bacteria.
Pro note: You can repeat these steps once or twice a week (depending on when you see the flowers droop) to extend the life of your bouquet.